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Information and Knowledge Management

ISSN 2224-5758 (Paper) ISSN 2224-896X (Online)


Vol.4, No.10, 2014

www.iiste.org

Availability, Accessibility and Use of Information Resources and


Services among Information Seekers of Lafia Public Library in
Nasarawa State
Nwachukwu, V.N1
Abdulsalami T. Lucky2
Paulina F. Salami3
1.University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Enugu State. Nigeria
2.Federal University Library, Lafia, Nasarawa State. Nigeria
3.Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Kaduna State. Nigeria
Email: luckyabdulsalami@gmail.com
Abstract
The sample population comprised of 114 users of Lafia Public Library. Summary of the study and findings were
given. From the findings of the study information resources of Lafia public library are inadequate. It was
revealed that information resources of Lafia public library are used mostly for solving assignment questions, this
was because the major users of the library were the secondary school students. It was established that Lafia
public library depends on direct purchase as the method of acquiring information resources to the library. The
findings revealed that books are the major information resources in the library. Based on the findings of the
study, conclusion and recommendation were drawn to help public libraries management to improve availability,
accessibility and use of its information resources
Keywords: Information resources, Availability, Accessibility, Public Library, Indexing and Abstracting Services.
INTRODUCTION
The study investigates the availability, accessibility and use of information resources and services among
information seekers of Lafia public library in Nasarawa state. The term availability must be distinguished from
accessibility. Availability of information resources means ensuring their presence in the libraries for immediate
use (Aguolu and Aguolu, 2002). Learning materials might be available i.e. the library has acquired them but
inaccessible for use to those who need them for whatever reason (Un-cataloged, miscataloged, miss-shelved etc.).
Accessibility means that users can identify and use the resources.
The library means different thing to different people and institutions. To some it is a place where books
and non-book materials are preserved for the purpose of dissemination of information and knowledge and for the
benefit of the society it is meant to serve. To others, the library is an institution where books and other
information resources are collected, processed, stored, retrieved and disseminated.
The public library unlike other types of libraries is not restricted to any group of users. It is more or less
a universal library. It is expected to serve all kinds of people including young children and people with
disabilities and even people who for one reason or the other are incapacitated. Such people include patients in the
hospitals, prisons etc. they are generally managed, financed and supported by government, local communities
and occasionally non-government organizations etc. some National Libraries in Africa develop, operate and
maintain public libraries (Aina, 2004).
Availability of information resources
Information availability establishes a new standard for system and network that are always on for
applications and data that are always available and for end users that are always connected. Availability of
information resources also entails acquiring and also providing means by which users could get necessary
information resources needed. It tries to ensure that every user gets document, which could satisfy his/her quest
for information.
Indeed, availability of information resources could justify the existence of the library or information
center. It is in line with this that the study set to assess the level at which information resources are made
available and accessible by the users of Lafia public library. Perhaps a study such as this could give an insight
into how the library is used and relevance services provided to the users.
Accessibility of information resources
Accessibility in general term is used to describe the degree to which a system is useable by a wide range
of users as possible. In other words, it is the degree of ease with which it is possible to re ach a certain location
from other locations. Accessibility can also be viewed as the ability to access the functionality and possible
benefit of some system or entity.
Accessibility is very important specifically as it focuses on people with disabilities and their access to
entities, often through use of assertive devices such as screen reading, web browsers and catalogs through
technological format. It is one thing for the resources to be available and it is another thing to be accessible.
What so ever is available but not accessible is equally useless. Only what is accessible that is usable.

Information and Knowledge Management


ISSN 2224-5758 (Paper) ISSN 2224-896X (Online)
Vol.4, No.10, 2014

www.iiste.org

Garba, (2009) posit that information resources can be accessible through the use of telecommunication
and information technology. It enables access to information and services by minimizing the barriers of distance
and cost as well as the usability of interference. If the resources are in print format but the language, which it is
written is not understood by the user, it means the resources are not accessible. The accessibility of information
resources is not accessible. The accessibility of information resources depends on the ability of the inquirer to
make use of the resources affectively
It is usually highlighted that information resources and their creators and users constitute an intellectual
or manifold reciprocities influence. Libraries and information centers are not only repetitive of books and
materials or organization of knowledge, they are vital and influential centers of such intellectual communities.
Information therefore is ordinary recorded and stored only when it is judge to have continuing potentials
influence. In other worlds intellectual access need to be accompanied by physical access if the facilities is at used,
(Nwachukwu, 2008).
Ndagna (2000) in his opinion noted that the term access is used by different people in relation to quite
bits and piece of the whole as in subject open access and knowledge access system. However, each refers to one
or more aspects of providing means of access to information in a fuller sense, to knowledge.
Qamar (2002) defined accessibility of information sources as the increase and provision of information
resources to clientele in other to increase their knowledge base. However, this increase in use and importance of
information resources raises concern as to whether these resources are fully accessible to all people. The central
significances of accessibility to all recorded knowledge and experience is underlined by the absence of any
restriction of guidance as the nature of the contents of the library. The framework of information makes two
values of assumption to the function of a library and the right accessibility to it or not. Library resources provide
information on the user groups that benefit from information accessibility.
Information resources and services
Information resources are the equipments and facilities, software and data, which are designed, built, operated
and maintained to collect, record, process, store, retrieve, display and transmit information.
According to Olowu (2004), library and information resources include such materials as books,
periodicals and audio visual materials that are provided for use by the people. These materials are usually housed
in a building systematically arranged for easy retrieval. Libraries all over the world regardless of type, public,
academic and special are considered to be store house of knowledge of published and unpublished information
resources that are basic to continued survival, development and progress of mankind. Example of published
information resources include books, journals, magazines and newspapers, while the unpublished materials
include project, thesis, conference papers, workshop papers and seminar papers. There is hardly any possible
development of knowledge in the field of human endeavor today without library books and various types of
information materials, which exist in the libraries as information resources.
Use of information resources
Use of information resources refers to the extent to which users make use of the resources of a library to
meet their information needs. However, the type and nature of information use among Lafia public library users
is one of the focuses of this study, which is yet to be determined. Buckland (1975) identified use as an activity
which measures the worth of an item to a library or information system. Use is the single criterion, which could
be used to determine the reason for retaining a document within the collection of a library; and use is essential in
guiding the collection development effort of a library. The use of a library can be obtained from the demand of
its items. The library tries to meet the needs of its users who may not be satisfied with the output they are getting
from the system. The package or item provided to the user may not satisfy these needs. All these are problem
that could possibly emanate from the use of a library with the aim to address them.
Public information centers should be designed to serve actual need as well as anticipation to meet these
actual needs. Public libraries specialists must be technically and professional trained. Information therefore, is an
important ingredient in all human endeavor and human survival in any society. Information today is a
commodity, package and sold at obtainable price. It is regarded as vital source that must be made to achieve
organization goals and management option in survival technique.
The objective of the Public library is to utilize and maximize the exposure of the user to the library
resources. Ray (2004) remark that the library should be organized to utilize the effort required by users to access
the needed information as soon as possible when the need arises. Public libraries should be involved in the
provision of all kinds of information resources for the use of their client because they play a vital role in
transmission of knowledge that could be impacted because it is a way of providing the users with a total
information environment with the development of science and technology. The record of mans achievement
come in a wide varieties of forms each equally varied, each capable of giving information in its own unique way
and even complementing the other. Normally, it is information that the library client look for and not the library
building.

Information and Knowledge Management


ISSN 2224-5758 (Paper) ISSN 2224-896X (Online)
Vol.4, No.10, 2014

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Statement of problem
For a library to be functional, it has to meet its users needs and ensuring that users make functional use
of the information resources and services available at their disposal. In modern world, the progress and
development of a country is determined by its educational and information development. All activities, resources
and services of the library are geared towards helping the general public to achieve its information needs. There
is no discrimination on the bases of education, sex, age, religion and social status. Lafia public library is one of
the libraries established by Nasarawa State Library Board to provide resources and services, making them
readily available for access at all times such that the users would have maximum satisfaction whenever they
wants to utilize the library resources and services.
Lafia public library was established in 1995 in accordance with the Nasarawa State library Act. The
Nasarawa state Government considered the library as one of the important media of mass education. It places
more emphasis on attracting the young reader and fostering the reading habit at an early stage. The facilities
provided by the library also help the adult population to conquer ignorance, superstition, disease and poverty.
The library is situated at the heart of the capital. It has a total of 8,000 volumes of books.
The library has total staff strength of 10 and opens for service from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm from Monday
to Friday. However, as important as this library was it has been observed that information resources are not
readily available probably due to poor budgetary allocation from the state Government.
Another problem observed is that accessibility of the information resources seems difficult. This
perhaps might be as a result of poor processing of the information resources.
The problem with use of
information resources as observed in the library is that users appear not to be aware of the information resources
and services available in the library probably because they are illiterate or does not know the library setting/use.
When library resources are not available they cannot be accessed it means that the library itself is not being
utilized.
Availability of information resources
Availability of information resources refers to the presence of books and non-book materials in a library
and information center.
Buckland (1975), assert that the logical problem of making books physically available in the library
when wanted by information seekers is central to librarianship. The central rule of library stock control is that
both the information resources and the policy should be related to the level of demand for items. Acquisition
policy should help a library to decide on what to buy where and when in order to increase access, ability to
needed information resources.
Managing the physical resources of Lafia public library depends on the availability of the resources.
Abdulsalami (2013) remarks that availability requires workable performance measure to back it up even if the
ultimate benefit to the individual user and to the community is difficult to assess. The access to library resources
of the library is also a factor of availability for without the physical presence of a document a user cannot access
anything. This therefore, reveals that the effective use of any library is best measured in terms of access and
demand of its resources and services.
Abdulsalami (2013) stated that Book availability is an indicator of stock effectiveness. Libraries
consider their task to be that of collecting, storing and measuring of books. Most libraries consider it also as their
task to make these books available to their users. The intellectual access to available information has since
properly been a major pre-occupation of libraries. Importance has been reflected in efforts devoted to the design
and creation of bibliographies, catalog and classification scheme and other devices that help establish the
existence of individual document and their relevance to specific inquiries.
However, intellectual access needs to be accompanied by physical access if e-document is to be used.
Abdulsalami further stated that the provision and use of information resources have grown to be a political and
social responsibility. It appears that this responsibility will continue to grow with increase in the production of
information and the number of its users. The daily growth of information first brings about the problem of
making easily available to potential user the right type of information at the right time.
Aguolu (2002), argue that availability should be viewed from both material and instructional levels. The
attribute to lack of availability of information resources to the steady proliferation of universities: Federal, state
and private, along with increase in students and faculties and the diversification of courses, academic and
research programmed without adequate information source to meet the actual and information needs.
Dike (1992), conducted a research on scarcity of books in Nigeria and the threat to academic excellence.
She was able to establish that non availability of information resources have led faculties and students not to use
library services.
The problem of managing information resources in Lafia public library depends on the availability of
these facilities, Buckland (2008) remarks that availability requires workable performance measures to back it up
even if the community is difficult to access. Access to the facilities of the library is also a factor of availability
for without the presence of the resources a user cannot access anything. Therefore, the effectiveness of any

Information and Knowledge Management


ISSN 2224-5758 (Paper) ISSN 2224-896X (Online)
Vol.4, No.10, 2014

www.iiste.org

library is best measure in terms of access and demand of its services. A study such as this will provide
information on the availability, accessibility and utilization of the resources of the public library and use of the
resource based on perceived need of the users.
The daily growth of information brings about problem of location, acquisition, organization and
dissemination, the growth brought about problems of making available to users the right type of information at
the right time. Robert (1998). Remarks that, immediate availability of information resources is important but
limited concepts. As a standard of library services it is rather one dimension, since it reflects the library capacity
to satisfy a demand at discreet moment in term, not as a continuous process. In that sense the concept of
availability is misleading to its project image of a library as a mere warehouse in which information resources
are either available on demand or not.
Buckland (2008) stated that, the effective use and application of library practices helps in performing
their operations and services efficiently and effectively. Availability of resources in the public library has
become inevitable on account of information explosion and widespread use of information, this study provides
the current scenario of information in the public library. Defining availability in terms of immediacy, is useful as
an indicator of library services. Since a perfect immediate availability rate is ideal. The applications of
information availability have contributed greatly to the knowledge of library functions, the availability of library
resources provide overall benefit for users to postulate or reflect the general objectives for which it is established
to serve. The available resources include book and non-book materials such as: books, chats, maps, magazines,
journals, symposium, graphic materials, computer systems, projectors, microfiber readers, and audio cassette,
radio TV Devices, CD, Internet facilities etc.
Accessibility of Information Resources
Accessibility of information resources is very important recurring theme in the literature. According to
Aguolu (2002), resources may be available in the library and identified bibliographically as relevant to ones
subject of interest, but the user may not be able to lay hands on them. One may identify citations in indexes but
may not have access to sources containing the relevant articles. The more accessible information sources are, the
more likely they are to be used. Readers tend to use information sources that require the least effort to access.
Osudina (1984) in his studies, the relationship, accessibility and library use by undergraduate in Nigeria,
notes that the problem of Nigerian students is not the question of the problem of wanting to use the library, but
whether or not the library can provide for their needs and whether there is access to what is provided.
Abdulsalami (2013), in his opinion noted that the term access is used by different people in relation to quite bits
and pieces of the whole, as in subject access, open access and knowledge access system. However, each refers
to one or more aspects of providing means of access to information or in a fuller sense, to knowledge and
understanding. All of the provision and use of library services as concerned with access to knowledge.
Abdulsalami (2013) further identified natural and artificial barriers to free access to information. The
libraries poor reputation was attributed to lack of accessibility to information sources. Similarly, Iyoro (2004)
examines the impact of social publications in the promotion of educational excellence among information
professionals, receiving further training at the University of Ibadan. Social accessibility has contributed to
students learning process. Serials were found to play a significant role in the acquisition of knowledge, because
the serial collection was easily and conveniently accessible.
Aguolu (2002), reveal that efforts are being made worldwide to promote access to information in all
formats. They lament the attendant features of underdevelopment such as power failure, machine breakdown,
and lack of spare parts, and technicians which intermittently stall the performance of the modern gadgets of
information storage and transfer in developing countries.
Information Resources
According to Flamingo (1990), libraries and information centers should be designed to serve actual needs as well
as anticipated needs of its users. He also maintained that in order to render effective services to meet these actual
needs, libraries specialists must be technically and professionally trained. Information therefore, is an important
ingredient in all human endeavors and for human survival in any society. Information today is a commodity
packaged and sold at obtainable price. It is regarded as vital resources that must be managed to achieve
organizational goals and management option in survival technique in which there cannot be effective research
without paper information. The non-book materials in the library include the projectors, microfilm reader,
cassette, microfiche reader, audio cassette, radio, TV, CD ROMs, computer, etc. there is the need for libraries to
have relevant information resources that can solve the information needs of its users.
The objective of the library is to maximize the exposure of the users to resources. Brown (1979),
remarks that the library should be organized to minimize the effort required by the users to access the needed
information materials as soon as possible when the need arises. Libraries should be involved in the provision of
audiovisual information resources for the use of their clientele because the resources play a vital role in the
transmission of information and knowledge. Media technology is the best way through which knowledge could
be impacted because it is a way of providing the users with a total information environment with the

Information and Knowledge Management


ISSN 2224-5758 (Paper) ISSN 2224-896X (Online)
Vol.4, No.10, 2014

www.iiste.org

development of science and technology, the records of man achievements came in a wide varieties of forms each
client looks for and not the formal libraries that exist to provide source of information to those who use the
information resources.
According to Abdulsalami (2013) the use or media resources by library client stimulate and increase
interests in learning. Information resources in a library whether in book or in non-book format are expected to be
adequate and up to date.
Library collections and use among information seekers
The term use is defined as analysis of the interaction between the user and the working collection of
library presented by the circulation of books in the library. The public library in its effort to satisfy the needs of
its users provide such material resources that will be useful in terms of solving the needs of the users.
The term use could also be defined as an analysis of the interaction between the user and the staff of a
library. The goals of the study has been the discovery and articulation, understanding, influencing and when
appropriate the elimination of the obstacles that hinders the users from achieving its stated objectives.
Information use could be found in the social, institutional, geographical and procedural shares and the use from
the information that could best satisfy need.
Greens (2003) maintained that information use in the library is an elusive action which may means
several thing e.g. information are useful in facilitating development programmes in many countries. These help
in supporting economic and social developments. Also, Mansell (1998) note that diverse, current and historical
data sets on sanitation and population growth and movement can be captured, the establishment of public library
in rural communities can facilitate economic empowerment. Use of information is important in dealing with the
problem of utilization in a library, especially when planned. Data obtain from use of resources could be used in
decision making.
However, for the library to play its role effectively, it must support intellectualism and direct the growth
of its services to the needs of the users. Vickery (2004) noted that once the services of a library have been
established it needs to be properly managed in order to improve its use. Information use need to be employed in
the library taking into consideration the uses of the resources and access to the users.
Morrison (1971) maintained that use in the library is one elusive action, which may mean several things.
For instance, when counting circulation materials, stolen books or misplaced books could be considered as
havent been charged out from the library for house use. Use study is very important in dealing with the problem
of utilization of the resources in a library, especially when planning to prune and evaluate library collections.
Data obtained from study could be used in decision making regarding the collection.
For a library to play its role effectively, it must support intellectualism and direct the growth of its
collections and services to the needs of its users. Vickery (2004) noted that once the collection of a library has
been established it needs to be properly managed in order to improve its use. Collection management strategies
needs to be employed in the library taking into consideration both the use of the resources and access to
alternative sources of information to the users. To know the effectiveness of the use of library resources by
patrons, it is important to know the opinion of cross section of the users. The more a library is able to meet
patrons needs, the higher it must be rated, and a library that fails almost all the time to meet the needs of its
users should be rated low. In likewise manner, the performance of the members of staff is rated good only when
the users of the library have been satisfied. In doing so, the staff should not be made to know that he/she is being
assessed.
Library and Information Services
Peter (1974) defined information as knowledge, which is transferred from a person to store knowledge
to another person in such a way as to encourage action by the recipient. The information and means of
communicating it in order to enhance social interactions has been a longstanding interest to man over several
generations. It is through information that man is able to interact with one another as well as interact with his
environment for economic and political survival.
Kumar (1982) said building a story library is the major task of any library. The quality of services
provided and the satisfaction of the users depends a great deal upon the collection made available. The
importance and need for information services as a social function in communication is becoming more
fundamental. The economics and social value of libraries and information centers and other information systems
cannot be under estimated. In this regard, libraries and information systems should be strongly designed to serve
actual needs as well as anticipated demand to its users. It should not be assumed that the users be trained to fit
the system, rather a system be designed to fit and satisfy users needs. A user is interested in a system that is
accurate, dependable and above all, responsive to his needs. In order to render effective services to meet these
actual needs. A librarian must be technically and professionally trained. If the concept of services is the pivot
upon which librarianship and most importantly Lafia public library is built, it then stands to reason to regard the
provision of services as one of the most important responsibility of the library.
It has been pointed out that the public library serves all categories of people in the community.

Information and Knowledge Management


ISSN 2224-5758 (Paper) ISSN 2224-896X (Online)
Vol.4, No.10, 2014

www.iiste.org

Morrison (1971) sees public library as a focal center, a universally accessible resort for educational,
informational and other cultural need of the community. In fact the public library aims at serving every
individual that exist within its community with diverse information interest and need. The parents, children,
business people, scientists, peasants, politicians, technicians, dropouts, unemployed, students, the armed forces
and every other citizen resort to the public library services for all kind of knowledge. Public library services are
very important to any community seeking progress economically, educationally and even personally. Morrison
further said that library services to children have always been recognized as being of cardinal important.
Public libraries serve the educational needs of the young. About 70% of the public libraries users are students
and dropouts who are reading for their general certificate of education. The public libraries are also engaged in
the eradication of illiteracy in Nigeria. They assist in the adult education programmes in all the states. The public
library has been recognized as best institution for adult education.
In the same vein, Davies (1974) brought it clearly; the public library plays the role of uplifting cultural
institution as well as being instrument for educating and elevating the people. The public library also serves the
interest of children. This is why in all public libraries there is usually children section.
Readers service is one important service rendered by Lafia public library to its teaming users. Other
services rendered in Lafia public library includes:
(a) Indexing and abstracting services: Akintola (1985) stated that in order to assist the user in getting
the maximum benefit from the library bulletins, annotations or abstract from each item in the
bulletin are included. This can be experience in house routine and most libraries resort to
commercial abstracting service. The indexes are of immense help to the users in locating
authorities to citations.
(b) References service: The library also has among other information resources and services
reference materials such as directories, encyclopedias, year book, almanac etc.
(c) Reserve collection; There are collections of the library that consist of out print books, books which
are single copies and books of popular demand with few copies available. In order for this
collection to be given to everybody they are housed in a lock up cupboard. These books can only
be borrowed and used within the library. Other information services in the library include:
Art and cultural services
Society services
Library and information services
Extension service
Public Libraries
The public library has been defined by many authors in different ways but all of them see it as a focal
point of the community. UNESCO 1968 defined public library as libraries which serve the population of a
community or region free of charge or for nominal fee. It is quite evident that public library serves every
category of its community irrespective of social club, sex, age, interest, education, profession etc. The public
library is an agency of continuing education for young and old. It assists in improving the social status of
individuals in the community by supplying it with information need for the acquisition of knowledge. It is
therefore, the responsibility of the library to provide variety of books in all fields and all levels for their readers.
It is also responsibility to provide services and materials to enlarge the mind and eradicate ignorance in our
society. The quickest and easiest access to the worlds best thought is through the public library.
According to Brown (1979), The public library must offer to adults and children the opportunity to
keep in touch with their times, to educate themselves continuously and keep abreast of progress in the sciences
and art. Its content should be a living demonstration of the evolution of knowledge and culture, constantly
reviewed, kept up-to-date and attractively presented. In this way it will help people from their own opinions, and
develop their creative capacities and powers of appreciation. The public library is concerned with the
communication of information and ideas whatever the form in which these may express.
Description of Area of Study
The study area is restricted to Lafia public library. It covers the availability and use of information
resources and services among information seekers in the library. It basically seeks to focus on direct services to
the users, library resources for users convenience and the functions of the library, which are geared towards
achieving the aims and objectives of the library.
Objective of the Study and Methodology Used
From the problems enumerated in the research work, the following objectives are provided for the study:
To find out the type of information services provided in Lafia public library, to investigate how information
resources are accessed by the user, to find out the availability of information services provided in Lafia library,
to assess how adequate these resources are to the clientele, to find out how information resources are used and to

Information and Knowledge Management


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Vol.4, No.10, 2014

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identify the types of information resources available in the library.


The research methods adopted for this study is the survey methods. Osuala (1987) maintained that the
survey method focuses on people, the vital facts about people and their beliefs, opinions, attitudes, innovation
and behaviors, identifies the present condition and integrate data and point to implications and interrelationship.
The survey method was adopted for this study because of its capacity of presenting realistic data for analysis
towards achieving the objective of the study.
Population, sample and instrument for the study
The total estimated population for this study is one hundred and twenty (120). The population consist
the users of Lafia public library and its staff. A total of one hundred and fourteen (114) was sample i.e. one
hundred users and fourteen (14) staff randomly selected for the study to enable the researcher to have full idea
of how the information resources are utilized in the library. Questionnaire was the instruments used for the
collection of the data.
Data Analysis
The analyses of the data were made from the responses to questions prepared for users and staff of
Lafia Public Library. The responses collected were therefore, presented and analyzed using frequency tables and
simple percentage. One hundred and twenty (120) questionnaires were distributed; one hundred and fourteen
(114) which represent 90.9% working population was retrieved for use.
Table I: How Information Resources are acquired in Lafia Public Library
Methods of acquisition
Respondents
68
Direct purchase
33
Donor Agents
13
Gift and Exchange
Total
114

Percentage (%)
60%
29%
11%
100%

Table I, above reveals that Lafia public library uses direct purchase as the major method of acquiring
information resources in the library. This was indicated by 68 (60%) respondents. 33 (29%) stated that the
library acquires its resources through donor agents, while 13 (11%) accept that the library acquires its
information resources through gifts and exchange. This indicates that information resources are acquired through
direct purchase to the library through the library vendors.
Table II: Types of Information Resources available in Lafia Public Library
Information Resources
Frequency
44
Books
28
Journals
24
Films and Audio records
11
Directories
7
Others
Total
114

Percentage (%)
39%
24%
21%
10%
6%
100%

Table II, above discuss the types of information resources available in Lafia public Library 44 (39%)
express that books are available for use while 28 (24%) agreed that there are sufficient journals for use. 24 (21%)
expressed that Films and audio records are not sufficient. 11(10%) responded that Directories is in limited
quantity while 7 (6%) others believe that clients who visit the library get materials of interest to use.
Table III: Adequacy of Information Resources in Lafia Public Library
Adequacy of Resources
Respondents
70
Adequate
24
Very adequate
20
Not adequate
Total
114

Percentage (%)
61%
21%
18%
100%

From table III above the respondents who indicated adequacy of information resources in Lafia Public
Library were 70 (61%). This was followed by very adequate 24 (21%) and not adequacy 20 (18%).

Information and Knowledge Management


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Vol.4, No.10, 2014

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Table IV: Types of Information Services provided in Lafia Public Library


Information Services
Respondents
20
Lending service
18
Information service
17
Reference service
9
Bibliography service
9
Audio visual service
7
Abstracting and indexing
34
All of the above
Total
114

Percentage (%)
17%
16%
15%
8%
8%
6%
30%
100%

Table IV, above indicates the type of information services provided in Lafia public library. Lending
services indicate 20 (17%), information services 18 (16%), Reference services 17 (15%), Bibliographic services
indicate 9 (8%), Audio Visual 9 (8%), Abstracting and Indexing services 7 (6%) while all of the above 34 (30%).
This simply indicated that information services needs improvement, based on the response.
Table V: Accessibility to Information Resources in Lafia Public Library
Respondents
Access to information Resources
69
Students
45
Staff
114
Total

Percentage (%)
61%
39%
100%

The table V indicates accessibilities of information resources in Lafia public Library 69 (61%) opine
that they do have access while various staff from different works in Lafia public library agreed that there are
access to information resources.
Table VI: Problems encountered when accessing Information Resources in Lafia Public Library
Difficulties faced
Respondents
Percentage (%)
46
Using catalogs
40%
45
Locating information resources
40%
23
Communicating with librarians
20%
114
100%
Total
In table VI above 46 (40%) posits that using the catalogue card is a problem to them, locating various
information resources was also a problem 45 (40%) expressed it while 23 (20%) respondents expressed that
getting the librarian on duty to put them through to getting the resources is another problem. This shows that the
public library, librarian must wake up in their slumber and embrace the duty they are paid for.
Table VII: Assessment of the Services of Lafia Public Library
Adequacy of Resources
Respondents
60
Good
21
Very good
18
Fairly good
15
Excellent
Total
114

Percentage (%)
53%
18%
16%
13%
100%

Table VII above shows the assessment of Lafia public library services, 15 (13%) express that their
services are excellent, 21 (18%) posit very good, majority 60 (53%) express satisfaction of the services while 18
(16%) believe the information services of Lafia public library are fairly good. This gives a generalization of a
pass mark.

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Table VIII: Suggested means of improvement on accessibility to Information resources in Lafia Public Library
Users suggestion
Respondents
Percentage (%)
34
Users be educated on how to use the library
30%
29
More fund should be allocated to the library
25%
19
No comments
17%
13
Catalog should be updated regularly
11%
10
Readers services should be extended to weekends
9%
9
Expansion of the serial section
8%
114
100%
Total
From the above table VIII 34 (30%) charge the librarians to teach and conduct proper orientation to her
clientele on the use of the library, 29 (25%) expressed the needs for enough fund for the library, 19 (17%) made
no comment, 13 (11%) suggested the updateness of the catalogue, 10 (9%) request readers services to be
extended to weekends while 9 (8%) pray for expansion of serial section to accommodate the ever increasing
clients of serial section.
Summary
The study was conducted to investigate the availability, accessibility and use of information resources
and services among information needs of Lafia Public Library clienteles in Nasarawa State. Availability refers to
the physical presence of information resources while accessibility refers to permission or opportunity to get close
to and use information resources. The study revealed relevant literature on the conceptual and theoretical
framework of the problem under study. This has been necessary in order to lay the foundation for the research.
Users and staff of Lafia Public Library were used as the population of the study out of whom the sample was
drawn. The instruments used for collecting data were questionnaire. The survey method was adopted for the
study.
Findings:
1. The study revealed that books are the major information resources in Lafia Public Library. The result
showed that 44 (39%) of the respondents indicated that books are the most available sources of information
in the library.
2. It was also established that Lafia Public Library depends largely in direct purchase as the major method of
acquiring information resources to the library from the investigation, 68 (60%) expressed direct purchase as
a major method of information resources acquisition.
3. It was also found that users of Lafia Public Library use the library for doing their assignment (questions).
This was notice in their library users list as they form the bulk of the users.
4. It was also established in the findings that information resources in Lafia Public Library are adequate. The
respondents expressed that there are fairly adequate information resources in Lafia Public Library 70 (61%)
expressed.
Conclusion
Based on the findings of the study, it could be expressed that information resources are available in the library
but users cannot access them because they cannot use the catalogue and they cannot locate information resources
on the shelves quickly. Therefore, the users need to be educated on how to use the catalogue to locate
information. Accessibility is dependent on availability. If information resources are not available the users would
not find anything to lay hands on. In order to improve accessibility to information resources in the library
therefore, other retrieval devices should be developed to make it easier for users to locate the resources.
To use also depends on the information resources available and accessible in the library. When the
information resources are accessible the users can now utilize it in solving their information needs. The
effectiveness of any library depends on the resources availability, accessibility and use of its information
resources by information seekers. Therefore, proper management of its information should be the focal point of
the library in order to meet the demands of the users. Furthermore, it can be said that Lafia Public Library
acquires its information resources through direct purchase. This is clear indication of the governments
commitment in the provision of resources and services, making them readily available for access all times, such
that the users would have maximum satisfaction whenever they are utilizing the library resources and services.
From the finding of the study, Public library should stocked books, journals, serial, periodicals,
directories, dictionaries, encyclopedia, Gazette, manuscripts, audiovisual records and electronic information
services. This is to enable the library to acquire enough resources and move toward the modern trends. Therefore,
the level of satisfaction of the users could be assessed.
The effectiveness of any library depends on the full availability, accessibility and utilization of
information by users. Therefore proper arrangement of available, accessibility and utilization of information
9

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Vol.4, No.10, 2014

www.iiste.org

should be the vocal point of the public library staff in order to meet the demand of the users. This study has
identified the availability, accessibility and initialization of information among information seekers in Lafia
Public Library.
Summarily, it is hoped that the library management, will implements some of the recommendations
stated below.
Recommendations
(1) Its recommended that well-meaning individual and non-government agencies should also participate in
equipping public libraries with information resources. Public libraries should also adopt other methods of
acquiring information resources such as gift and exchange, grants etc.
(2) Public libraries should organize orientation on the use of the library regularly. This can be done through
workshops and seminars. The orientation should focus on library use and how to gain access to information
resources in the libraries.
(3) Comprehensive tools and retrieval devices should be provided in order to direct users to specific locations
of information resources in the libraries.
(4) The public libraries management boards should also provide libraries staff with training and retraining
opportunities so that they would provide effective and efficient information services to the library users.
(5) Public libraries should acquire more reference materials to supplement books and other information
resources.
(6) Public library should use various methods of acquisition such as solicitation, exchange, inter library loan to
increase the equipment in the library and also be of assistance to the other library who are unable to afford
enough information resources.
(7) The librarian should encourage them to use more current services in order to be current and be up- to- date
in the quest and research of knowledge. It was established that public library offered leading services on
some materials.
Finally, the researcher recommends that the management of Lafia public libraries should make frantic
efforts to publicize their libraries to the public by advertising on the media the relevance of public libraries and
also educating them of other services that can be enjoyed in the libraries apart from using the library to solving
school assignment questions.
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